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Recipe for :

Shrimp Risotto

This recipe has been contributed by writer and journalist, David Leite, who has his own website called Leite's Culinaria - it is well worth a visit. There is no point in me telling you more about David here as he has produced a first class bio page of his own which tells you far more than I could cram in.

This is what David had to say about this recipe:

"On the tiny artists' island of Burano near Venice, I was served a first course of shrimp risotto that simply beguiled me. As soon as I returned home I set about re-creating this achingly fresh dish. Many pounds of rice later, I hit upon a recipe that I believe comes close to the original. Until I return to A Romano, it'll do just nicely.".


Shrimp stock:
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
shells from 3/4 pound medium shrimp (reserve shrimp for risotto recipe, below)
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
7 cups cold water
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

3/4 pound medium shrimp, deveined and chopped into small pieces
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided as specified
1 tablespoon yellow onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups high-quality imported arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
shrimp stock (above)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper


Make the stock:

  • In a heavy stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp shells and vegetables; cook about 15 minutes, until the shells are deep orange.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, and mix well.
  • Add the cold water and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (or a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth) into a clean pot. Return the strained stock to the stove, and heat to a bare simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make the risotto:

  • In a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. When foaming stops, add the shrimp and sauté until light pink, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the stove. Dump the shrimp in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and process until coarsely shredded, about 5 to 7 pulses.
  • Return the saucepan to the heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter, and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, and cook a few minutes more.
  • Add the rice, and stir until well-coated with the butter. Sauté lightly for a few moments until the rice starts to turn translucent, then add the wine and stir constantly until evaporated.
  • Begin adding the stock by the ladleful (about 1/2 cup), stirring constantly until the rice is creamy and al dente, about 25 to 35 minutes. NOTE: Always make sure there's enough liquid to cook the rice; it should bubble gently like old-fashioned oatmeal. If it dries out or becomes clumpy, add more stock or water to correct.
  • Stir in the shrimp, remaining butter, parsley, heavy cream and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 4